Look Out Nokia! Samsung Plan To Kill Top Dog

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Look out Nokia: your days could be numbered.

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Not content with being the numero uno smartphone maker, Samsung now has its eyes on the ultimate prize – to be the top phone maker – shoving Nokia off the top spot it has held since 1998. 

The title held by Finnish giant will be snatched away by the Koreans this year, Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung, told media at CES in Las Vegas this week.

In its latest quarterly results, Samsung overtook Nokia on revenue – grossing a company total of $4.5bn – on the back of strong sales of flagship Galaxy smartphones, while operating profit at the telecommunications unit jumped 81 percent to 2.6 trillion won, according to estimates.

And it looks like ambitious Samsung is allowing nothing to get in its way with plans to hike up investment in telecommunications business, Choi revealed – now its major stronghold alongside LCDs, fridge operations.

And it looks like the giant could meet its 2015 sales target ahead of schedule, its boss said yesterday.

“With the current sales growth rate, we are likely to… achieve the 2015 sales target of $200 billion earlier,” Choi declared.

In 2011 the giant is said to have sold more than 300m handsets overall including smartphone and feature phones.

Samsung refuse to disclose exact shipment numbers although analysts believe it shipped around 32m smartphones in the fourth quarter. 

 
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This marks a rise on Q3 figure which analyst estimate hit around 27.8 million units. The Galaxy S II on Android OS was also one of the top selling handsets in Australia and the success shoved Samsung into the global top spot for smartphones in Q3, beating Apple.

The star performer Galaxy S II, which launched in May, surpassed 10 million units quicker than any other Samsung mobile device, the company said.

Read Samsung Profits Surge As TV Sales Crash And Smartphones

During the same third quarter period to October 20th, Nokia said it shipped 106.6m units – consisting of a whopping 89.8m mobiles and 16.8 smartphones – the latter more than 10m less than Samsung’s comparable figure.

However, the Fins still have a strong lead in basic handsets as sales grew by 3% in Middle East and Africa, and the giant still has a stronghold in emerging markets, although its share has fallen in all regions compared to a year ago, according to Nokia’s latest financial statement.

Smartphone sales also dipped by almost 10m compared to Q3 2010.

And it look like Choi’s grand plan could be a reality, and although it has smartphone market all sewen up (for now) it needs to focus on emerging markets in order to pull the carpet from under leader Nokia. Samsung already has foothold in emerging markets with Bada OS mobiles.

“It really highlights the level to which Nokia has struggled to retain momentum through 2011,” Tim Shepherd, Canalys analyst told Reuters.

“Samsung is really charging forward at the moment. It is delivering really compelling products to the market and consumers are responding,”

 

At CES, Nokia’s press conference was said to be less than spectacular with the launch of its Lumia 900 Windows smartphone, while Samsung sought glory at the electronics show showing off its Note – a cross between a tablet and a smartphone – amongst other goodies. 

Read Samsung At CES: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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